Case Study: SQL Safe Backup

IDERA helps PPG Industries reduce SQL Server backup storage costs by over 70 percent


PPG Industries, a leading global supplier of coatings, glass, fiber glass and chemicals, has reduced storage costs for its SQL Server database backups by over 70 percent using SQL Safe, Idera’s high performance backup and recovery solution for SQL Server

SQL Safe enables PPG Industries Senior Database Administrator, Pat Mong, to more effectively and efficiently backup SQL Server databases across the United States and Canada. Because PPG has huge amounts of important research and financial data in SQL Server databases, it is critical that each database gets backed up every night and can quickly be restored as needed. In addition to reducing the amount of time and expense for SQL Server backups, the management information provided by SQL Safe helps PPG monitor backups and ensure that they are performed on time and without errors.


Pat Mong of PPG Industries has spent 28 years working in large scale computer environments. For the last 12 years he has been working on Microsoft servers, primarily SQL Server. Several years ago, as SQL Server began to proliferate throughout PPG’s IT infrastructure, they found that backups were a challenge. “We were simply running out of space for backups. We back up every database, every day, typically in the evening,” said Mong. “We started using native SQL Server backup, but as the number of servers and databases scaled, we simply ran out of time and storage. Finally, things got really difficult because we were forced to back up servers across the wire. It would often take us five hours or more perform a single backup. Because adding more staff wasn’t an option, we began looking for a solution that would help us perform backups more effectively.”


Initially, PPG purchased a product that provided single server compressed backups hoping that it would solve the problem. “We quickly found that this product was not enterprise-aware. We had to manage each instance individually from each server that we had it installed on, and with 60 servers that was a major challenge,” Mong recalled. “Then, after a few months, the company was bought and the products were broken out into several pieces. They began charging so much that it simply was not cost effective.”

Shortly thereafter, Pat turned to Idera’s SQL Safe. “The solution out-performed the competition. It was enterprise-aware. And, most importantly, Idera was very open to our ideas and suggestions and responsive to our questions. Finally, the pricing was very attractive. So we began using SQL Safe on a few of our servers,” he said. “Other companies are only worried about the sale, not about supporting customers. I’ve been very pleased with my interactions with Idera. They really take the time to listen to their customers.”

Today Mr. Mong’s team is responsible for 60 SQL Servers across the US and Canada and has deployed SQL Safe to backup all of them. With SQL Safe, PPG processes more than 3,400 backups per day. The size of PPG’s SQL Server databases range from 10MB to over 160GB. With SQL Safe, PPG averages 70- 85% compression on backup storage. “SQL Safe is the best product we’ve found to backup and restore SQL Server databases. The thing we like most about SQL Safe is that it is an enterprise-aware product and was built to be that way from the beginning,” Mong said. “This saves me a lot of time and unnecessary effort. I can sit at my desk and see all of the backups that have taken place and that are scheduled across all instances of SQL Server that I manage worldwide.”

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